August 19, 2005
I looked around downtown and saw a bunch of new condo developments. I saw an ad for one last week and it touted the 'sense of community' in this development. Each unit was selling for about 300,000 dollars. Each unit has an underground parking space and a nice little patio hanging off the side of the building. The construction looks to me like 1980's low income housing, designed to minimize costs and increase profits. The ad pictures people gathering in the central mini-plaza/park and laughing and talking. The picture I see has nothing to do with community. The condo people don't hang out together, the surrounding buildings are low-income and full of artful characters, collaborating on ideas. The guy from the Artist's building a few blocks over is working on the brochure for the nightclub where he frequently hangs out. The guy running the coffee stand opens the door early on a Saturday morning for the guys in the bike shop and has the coffee ready for them. The condo's I see don't participate. The condo's I see were built on a promise that can't be fulfilled. The community is active and bustling with activity down in the streets, between the cracks of the highrise steel and glass and parking ramps. The developers see dollar signs and market 'community' which people desire. We think it's cool, we like connecting with other people and helping each other out. It's too bad the thing they claim creates community will ultimately choke it off until it can't live or is forced to move on. Instead of community development it looks more like displacement.
Posted by carl1236 at August 19, 2005 11:25 PM | Attitude
This reminds me of the pictures that always accompany cell phone advertisements. There's always a small multiracial group of smiling young people. At least one or two of them is laughing.
I dunno 'bout you, but 99% of the time when I use my cell phone, I pull it out and answer it, or dial a number and just talk.
And as far as condos go: there's a group of condos across the street from me. I don't see much community there, except among the people who come to do the lawn or clear snow.
Posted by: Dan at August 20, 2005 12:15 PM
This doesn't fit with my stereotype of condo-dwellers: busy professionals with no time to fix toilets and mow grass. For people so busy, I wonder how much time they'll have to spare for community-building.
Posted by: Jim at August 24, 2005 9:29 AM